Lexical complexity: Metaphors and collocations in native, non-native and bilingual speech

Abstract : This paper reports on a study of metaphorical speech produced by forty native, non-native and bilingual students from University Paris-Diderot expressing themselves in English and in French. A corpus of spontaneous reactions to works of art was collected within the framework of Emphiline, an interdisciplinary project exploring the expression of surprise and associated emotions. Recent studies have bridged the gap between the Cognitive Linguistics definition of conceptual metaphor and literary stylistic approaches, pointing out strong links between idioms and metaphoricity. This research highlights invariant semantic and functional characteristics irrespective of the participants' status as well as individual linguistic variations and a cline in lexical complexity. Natives, bilinguals and learners with sustained exposure to English as a foreign language are more metaphorically proficient than academic advanced learners. Natives and bilinguals prove creative while learners tend to produce repetitive adjectival forms and conventional collocations. Awareness activities are suggested to boost metaphorical competence. Keywords Metaphorical proficiency-natives, bilinguals and learners-surprise and emotions-works of art.
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https://hal-univ-diderot.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01645705
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Submitted on : Thursday, November 23, 2017 - 10:36:57 AM
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Pascale Gouteraux. Lexical complexity: Metaphors and collocations in native, non-native and bilingual speech . P. de Haan, S. van Vuuren & R. de Vries (eds.). Language, Learners and Levels: Progression and Variation. Corpora and Language in Use – Proceedings 3,, Presses universitaires de Louvain, 2017. ⟨hal-01645705⟩

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